Matthew 7:16 - You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?
I think of Matthew 7:16 every time I read about a church doing the wrong thing. It reinforces that, although people claim to be Christians, they often do not act like it. Especially if it involves money or sex… or both. Take the actions of Victory Christian Center, a mega church out of Tulsa. They are asking for the dismissal of a civil suit by the mother of a 13-year-old rape victim.
According to the Associated Press, the Victory Christian Center will argue in a hearing on Monday that the child’s mother is not entitled to any monetary relief under the law. She is seeking more than $75,000 in damages.
The suit accuses employees at the center of not reporting the attack by Chris Denman, a former church janitor.
I posted on the case in September under the title, Megachurch. Megabusiness. Begaproblem. The case was a stunning example of corporate stupidity. The church clearly did not report the rape. It's already in evidence. They own this mistake.
A 13-year-old girl was raped in a stairwell by a church employee. At least two other children were abused and one other employee has been arrested. Church officials knew about the abuse and kept it quiet for two weeks. Daugherty knew about it herself and did not report it. Her excuse was that she had relied on the official administrative process and trusted that her employees would do the job correctly. The police did not charge her, but did charge four other members of the church, including Daugherty’s son and daughter-in-law, who were charged with failing to report. Daugherty should have been charged too.
The church is at fault. They may not have raped the child, but they clearly handled the post-rape situation improperly. They are responsible at least in some small measure for what happened to the victim. What would a good Christian do here? Would they take responsibility and pay the $75k, or would they claim innocence and tell the victim to piss off? I don't need to tell you what they are doing. Right?